Tiruvannamalai, Ramanashramam, Flora – 2

Once JJ, the librarian at Sri Ramanashramam, had a minor accident, and his foot was bruised. He cured it by applying the extract of a plant that was growing in the ground near the library. He showed me that innocuous looking plant. The plant was growing wild, and looked most ordinary. If I am not mistaken, the plant name that he mentioned was ‘Mookku-kuthi-poondu”… He curled the leaves, rolled it into balls, crushed some juice out, and applied it on the bruise. He told me that it works quick. He also showed me another plant, called Kuppaimeni. Also innocuous looking. He said that the plant is used for treating skin problems and ulcer as well.

Indian traditional siddha / ayurveda medicine knows of ever so many medicinal plants. Once dismissed as the imaginations of a pagan culture, the world now seems to be rather hurriedly revising that opinion. Go green!

Take a look at this plant.

The plant seen in the centre of the picture above is known in Tamil as Kizhanelli. Botanical name: Phyllanthus niruri. It is known in Hindi as Jangli Amla (wild Indian gooseberry), Sanskrit: Bhumyamalaki…

Kizhanelli is a small unpretentious plant – with great medicinal value. It is a plant that grows to a height of 2 feet or so, and blooms with yellow flowers. The plant is quite common in Tamil Nadu, and the local people know it well as a medicinal plant. It is a herb that has been used since memory of Ayurveda… Primarily as a support for liver. It has anti-viral effect and is used in treatment of Hepatitis B, Jaundice, diabetes, chest and skin diseases and a few more…

Here is another picture of a kizhanelli, all by itself…

Both the pictures are of Kizhanelli plants growing in the wild, at Ramanashramam.

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Now lets see some trees.

Bismarckia nobilis, the Bismarck palm, is a native of of Madagascar and is another real survivor. It has fan shaped leaves, which are beautiful and long. Even a young tree sprouts real long leaves, and hence the tree needs more landspace than you may expect. It requires a lot of Sun and water, but it manages to send sinker roots to get to water sources. Here is a young Bismarckia at Ramanashramam. Notice that the trunk is so short. Yet the leaves spread like a mature tree.

** To be contd **

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